and then…nothing

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At at certain point, when everything grinds down to a halt and stops working,..your websites won;t work, you cannot load new sites …no one has answered a single resume and cover letter in weeks that you have sent out (and there have been maybe 25-30 you have worked your ass on in all directions) you realize there just isn’t any wind and the sails are dead and the boat just isn’t moving.

You have done all you can think of doing.

Hell, I even dyed my hair to fend of age-ism, updated my Linked-in, planned to re-do my whole online presentation (would not work – at all – which is problematic if you are a Content Manager and you are foiled at every corner – but most of that is simply that I am out of money and resources.

Sometimes disciplines, a great attitude, a stellar resume and plenty of hard work result in flat out nothing. – and here is where I am discouraged. I have to report this stuff back to people who have a lot less chance of getting work than I do.

That is depressing the hell out of me today.

Me? I am used to going without – most everything. I honestly think that were it not for other people I am not sure I would care that much. Don’t get me wrong – I would not drink or despair. I would simply stop playing YOUR game.

The stakes are too high – the benefits too low (no one is really happy) and everyone is lying all the time.

My problem this morning was I woke up with false hope. I keep thinking God really care if I get work or not. He doesn’t. He doesn’t care at all. He has some altogether other agenda that I am so oblivious to – so tone deaf too – that I cannot even hear it.

So now. I’ll keep eating my near perfect diet, live my ascetic lifestyle which includes no tobacco, alcohol, sugar and hardly any salt. I’ll exercise (walking several miles a day) and live alone looking to help my fellow humans. I’ll apply at jobs…but no one will call. My resume is superb and just to put a point ion it the first day I did it Jawbone got back with me in 30 minutes wanting an immediate interview two days later.

No.  I could have a job tomorrow. But it’s not what God wants. Why? No idea. Ask Him.

I used to not get calls because I was afraid to go out and apply. No true anymore. I do several most every day. I’ve done up to nine in one day.

Well not today. Nope. I’m on strike today. Fuck this. It’s dumb. I exercise my freewill to NOT play along.

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Then All Hell Broke Loose: The Year of Steel

Pic-03062015-003

A year ago yesterday I had everything – or so I thought. I had a 1400 sq. foot studio, was doing the best art of my life – had my art, Rod Swenson’s art and plenty of room on the walls for new art on the walls. I seemed stable, was losing weight. I was in love with the red-headed bombshell and we had made passionate love a week earlier like there was no tomorrow.

That turned out to be true – there was no tomorrow.

And there needed to be.

I will forever be grateful to her for helping save my life, for seeing me lovingly through the rough waters of transition from discovering my mental illness through the year or two it takes to adjust to life on the right meds and without self-medicating with alcohol. It’s a whole new life and even as fast as I am at adjusting it was going to take SOME time.

But not too much. It was becoming co-dependent – or had with no ill-intent at all. Everyone meant well. Everyone loved so very much. It had to break apart and it had to be permanent.

*******

While we are here I wanna clarify something for everyone. people think God is a killjoy when it comes to sex. Naw. He created all those amazing nerve endings and even some organs that only provide pleasure. So dispell that notion.

But a wise friend of mine once advised me against intimacy prior to marriage saying “if you break up later it will only hurt 1,000 times more.”

True that. Fuck it hurts so much more.

I mean unless you are one of “those guys,” which I have never been.

No, next time (this time) I wait. It’s to protect me from hurt. You wanna go off and eat a buzzsaw? Go ahead. I’m done.

********

March 13, 2014 began perhaps the hardest year of all for me: The Year of Steel.

In one day I lost it all. This was not new. I have had that happen maybe four major times. Still a shock to the system it does get easier. But it ushers in old companions for a short time. I don’t crave alcohol at all – but it can be triggered.

The woman upstairs broker her lease, that broke my lease – the women I rent from went cannibalistic/militant – I got triggered big0time (I had cut my meds in half too to lose weight – BAD MOVE) – I drank – The vortex started -Add mega paranoia by others and fuckage…lies, falsifications (including actual forged documents – I shit you not…wow..that was a first)…and I go from being a good guy to Charles Manson’s twin in a day.

I wake up a few days later at “The Hitchin Post.” I am not made of steel. I am a broken-hearted man, alone – made of raw nerve endings dipped in fear.

I was tested in every way possible the next twelve months – alone. Haha – I was even bitten by a poisonous spider – haha. I was cheated, berated, my stuff lost in LA – I cannot even begin to tell you the adventures NOT recorded in Sansadobe.

The year ended with me in the hospital after all my hard work of pushing through PTSD and Homelessness in Santa Cruz in a somewhat record 43 days.

But by then I was a tough son of a bitch. You were gonna have to kill me to stop me. So when I woke up in that bed I called on my family and went to Carmel and pulled it together, got counsel (good counsel) and re-ordered my world.

I had developed a core of steel over the year. Not built from defiance, or anger or even a twinge of bitterness. This was built on and in faith. I chose to come to Oakland with no fear at all even though it meant Homelessness. I chose to look for my mate – another Jedi – because I knew I would find her here – and I knew that I needed to find her while I was NOT successful (anyone will love me later).

So much of life is a matter of the head and heart and I watch the men and women around me struggle with this. Oh yeah – the Homeless do too.

Laura – my girl – and I are not in a co-dependent relationship. She is a co-warrior alongside me. I do not need her help (except prayer). She notes my steel and is drawn to it. Those who knew me a year ago would scarcely recognize me. I am still every bit as sweet (maybe even sweeter and more patient). But I have a core that is steely and utterly direct.

I leave St. Mary’s tomorrow morning for Marin. I will be staying at Mill Street the next month while I continue to pursue work. I have been sick pretty much the whole time I have been at St. Marys (actually allergic – there is a mold problem). I have not allowed this to slow me but maybe one day the whole time). I am first one up and last to bed usually.

This morning the staff worker berated the whole crowd of us for some of the guys getting up before six a.m. and cleaning up their stuff quietly.

“It’s not like you have anywhere to go..like any of you have JOBS!” she yelled.

No need to waste energy on a response to her.

I work every day very day as hard as I did as an executive, or when I ran Maverickssurf.com – maybe harder. I have a job – It’s called life.

Over the year many of your may have noted a decided change in my tone and in my overt references to God. I make no apologies. I have deepened – and I was no slouch before.

I still hate religion and feel that it is marked by everything counter to Gospel: coercion, fear, greed and the attempt to take away freedom. It is contrary to faith, hope and love. Therefore it is anti-God.

But I would be remiss if I did not openly state that the steel which has formed within me is a direct result of deeper time and devotion to the Risen One – to Jesus who I experience as alive. I realize many of you do not. It is never a judgment with me. I share my experience – and that is all it is. He is my anchor.

Why I Love Jesus

HELLOMOTOIDENI am not known as a “bitter guy” but I was growing a root towards this woman at the shelter. She took every opportunity to take offense and pick a fight. Where she did not take offense she created it.

I found myself mimicking Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October “We must give the American a wide berth.”

In this case, this large Afro-American lesbian with a chip on her shoulder the size of Gibraltar.

No doubt it had been foisted upon her. And I had a suspicion that I – as the large “white man” was the embodiment of her hate.

Fuck.

So if I stepped anywhere near her she was on me like white on rice – whatever the hell that means (I really have no idea – it sounds vaguely racist – and you all know i am not so…).

And I am tiring of being the symbol of other white men’s sins – really.  I understand it, but I do not have to like it or even necessarily accept it.

With each incident where I was innocent the root of bitterness grew to the point where Sunday night I started to wish she would just “go away.” She already had displaced my work area (the office area where I had computer access early in the morning. But I could hardly admit this bothered me because it was toi hook-up her breathing machine – basically a medical necessity and how could I place my own needs over that!? No I could never admit that I had such an evil and selfish thought!

And frankly, had she been nice about it and not snapped at me at every opportunity I think I would not have thought about it. But she did, so I did. She wwas petty, so I started to think more and more that way.

The Bible describes it as a “root of bitterness” and it is apt. Ever deal with a nasty set of roots after they have tunneled down?

Well the next morning I went into the locker room and she was in there. “Oh boy…stay the hell away from her” was all I could think as I stared right into my locker all stiff like.

“Oh…help!” she suddenly gasped.

“I twirled around in an instant transformed and suddenly at her side. “What can I do. Tell me what is happening with you.” I said calmly.

She told me she was very short of breath. We worked together. She had me stuff her clothes that were on the floor into her bag, then gather up the change that had fallen on the floor onto it as well.

My eyes are not very good so at times she had to direct me. As I said, we worked together like we had done this before. Then I closed up her locker and told her to steady herself on my arm and slowwly led her out of the room and to a chair.

Once safe, I asked her how she was. We talked a little then I got her some water and alerted the front desk. I had done this many times up in Portland at the Mission so I knew what I was doing.

I checked back with her in a little while and she thanked me.

It was then that I thanked Jesus because I knew that without His direct influence there is no way I make THAT transition from bitterness to service in a millisecond. No way in hell.

And that is why I love Him.

No one in this Universe loves like Him. No one. And the sole reason I love at all is because of that.

and Fourteen years later…

AStang

I woke up, fourteen years ago this last Sunday – February 22, 2001 in a different world than the day before. It was the first day of this long ordeal you have been following.

See, those of you who have been following this journal,  or have only known me the last ten or 12 years or so have no idea about my former life. The above thingy? That was my third car (or ours). I had just sold the Corsica, but we had two vans (my wife and I) – the first one that she “had to have” and the second one that she “had to have” because the first wasn’t good enough.

Me? I bought the ’99 Mustang GT convertible because my wife used to withhold sex for months at a time as a means of control and I finally decided that going fast in a hot car was almost as good.

Sometimes it is actually better. There was this time out near San Simeon once where…

Anyway, unlike what would ensue in the months and year or two to come. On the day before I had walked into Prima Publishing to my executive’s job where I answered only (if at all) to the VP, the COO and the CEO (so like never really except to report my successes and ask for a raise). I had a small but loyal staff of hand-picked employees who were amazing and I had just invented “eGuides” which was going to revolutionized online gaming strategy (and a lot of other industries…as they had sen to patent my invention)  and make me a rich guy.

We owned two houses and had perfect credit, having paid down all our debt. When I went on to the lot at Roseville Ford they checked me out and the salesman came back beaming “Mr. MacDonald, you can have any car on the lot!”

I chose the Stang having no idea that two years later I would be out-jockeyed by a clever repo man hwho got the claw into it by a nice bit of sleight-of-hand.

But by then I was ruined.

The Dot.com crash hit those of us near the top creative element the way a major league baseball strike hits a top hitter. It is irrelevant that you batted .346, drove in 117 runs and hit 32 home runs last year – your industry is not playing any GAMES. There are no paychecks for you – not now – not for a good long while.

And my wife? Well she just got the divorce thing going and I had given her all the ammo she needed the month after the lay-off: I went to a 28-day program and admitted I had a problem.

Or as Bugs Bunny would say “What a Marooon!”

Still in love with my wife; devoid of any future in my industry, shacked with a now public “illness” that everyone says is a “disease” but treats like a moral failure (do not let any one kid or lie to you – EVERYONE treats it as a moral failure or a failure of will no matter what they say). And I was 11 years away from learning what the real enemy was: a mental illness and getting the simple treatment/cure).

Good luck with that Mac. Oh…and one more thing? Don’t whine…it’s …um…not manly.

********

So I learned not to whine, not to blame and how to live in some of the weirdest, roughest and most bizarre of circumstances (including living in the “MacShack” two doors down from my Ex-wife and my two former houses). I’d go out at 4 a.m. when I could not sleep to get some air and see her boyfriend sneaking out of my former house. Just shake my head.

I was no better- at all. I lived with several women and broke their hearts because I drank. I mean I wouldn’t for a time – but mental illness always trumps all.

Anyway – I wasn’t always homeless, poor, unemployed with no credit etc… and the irony is that was when I was full-blown in my addiction.

Now I am addicted to nothing (oh..well, possibly coffee?) eat healthy, and I am saving myself for marriage (haha- wow).

And last Sunday, Feb. 22, 2025 -14 years later to the day- Janine Shafer walked through the door of the Starbacks at Grand and Broadway in Oakland. And I almost laughed outloud (and I think she kinda did).

“Yeah…it’s you.”

“Yeah..c’mere and give me a hug.”

A New Partnership

gear-shifter

A serious gear shifter.

Mark my words..my new “partnership” with Don Hornes will change both our lives for good.

As previously mentioned, Don and I locked horns the first time we met – but all it did was bring out the steel in both of us. We have had a chance to observe each other in a variety of different situations over the last 5 weeks or so – and that has just added depth and knowledge to our mutual initial gut impressions.

Which was correct on both scores.

We share a common desire to serve people; specifically those who are homeless and see them delivered into better situations – tangibly. We share a common intelligence,ability to communicate and a gregarious good humor.

And we are both madmen.

Where we differ is Don is a natural and unrelenting salesman in an overt and extroverted way; whereas I am the same in an introverted way. It is a perfect combination.

In our own ways we both have a vision for an Azotus Cafe. He has a different name for his – but it is remarkably the same.

But that is way down the Road.

*******

Both of us know enough to focus on this first house – rent it; get the right people in it; establish the right rules for me to enact and keep consistent (and graciously applied) – and do it all in two weeks.

In the meantime I will be building his first website for his plumbing business: Spyke’s 23 &1/2 Hour Plumbing! (His idea on the non-24 hour thing – (brilliant as “24-hour” is invisible to everyone now).

Much needed bank for the Macman (I will not be paying rent at the new house. My compensation for being “House Manager” is free room and utilities).

This  brings up questions as I seem to be becoming more ensconced in Oakland (it will only deepen now). I will be getting more accounts for freelance work HERE; working at painting again for local galleries; and – at my father’s suggestion – start doing some comedy at local clubs.

********

If I could point to one of the things that several bouts with Homelessness has actually BLESSED me with (that normal people will probably never have or get) it is the ability to shift quickly from one life possibility to a whole different one (in utter reality and without taking the edge off with a pill or a glass of wine) in a very short period of time.

When I was a pastor I thought I had to shift fast (and I did. One minute you are talking joy with a person, then you turn and someone’s father has died – you had better be able to shift FAST ) – but tnothing like what I have had to do increasingly over these last years. My life can change in a day – the way a man;s life changes in afilm – and he has to have enough within himself to roll with it; keep hi head and re-work a new scenario.

I have failed in this many times – even to the point of almost dying. But I never make the same mistake twice. You can foo l me with a wicked pitch in one game. Throw it again and I will take you deep. I adapt, learn…grow.

On Friday it was within a span of eight minutes – from $189k job as potential world-wide director of brand and marketing for Jawbone to “house Manager” in Oakland making bank, instead, doing websites, copy-editing and sell oil paintings.

A year ago I was supposed to make a living selling oil paintings in Santa Cruz but was too afraid. Now I am not afraid of anything (well…almost anything). I’ll paint them and I’ll sell them.

My point is, that eight minutes could snap a person’s neck if they had no real training – but I have been trained well the last 14 years; and particularly the last six.

*******

Today I am sick – I mean really sick. This is where the training comes in handy. I know exactly what to do. I know it is a major trigger. I told several people about it; cancelled going to the city for church (sent a note to my pastor); am on high alert (because while I don’t fear hardly anything anymore the one thing I definitely an upper respiratory infection while being homeless. It is one of my few vulnerable points.)

It’s funny, no? I am not afraid of guns, knives or the harsh judgment of others. But a really bad head cold that could spill in pneumonia freaks me out.

If I was ever going to drink it would be a day like today – if it got more painful.

But I won’t. I will go right into the pain if it happens. I promise. I’ll take that bullet and watch it go in and out the other side if I have to. I have alerted others.

Like I said, I try to never make the same mistake twice. I’ve just made a lot of “first mistakes.”

God is about transformation if you allow. On our own? People do not change. I certainly would not. But I am in constant change. My gearbox glows sometimes – but I am alive; never bored and God is running this show – not me. That becomes clearer and clearer.

********

Epilogue

I did some good self-care yesterday and am on the mend; strength returning; had a good meeting with Don. Still need some free-lance as I am utterly broke – but I am happy and content today. I shifted through yesterdays twists and turns with no small amount of artistry like a Formula One racer. I had indeed learned from past mistakes and took the hairpins with some dexterity. THAT is an art God wants us to learn. Why? I have no idea, but the word “sanctification” comes to mind.

Enjoying Anotther Man’s Nuts

pomegranate

Homeless folk are very generous with each other – more-so than I think regular folk when you get right down to it (though my friends and family are more generous than most). If It is common to give a third of your remaining money to a brother or sister in need, or maybe even half (this is often only $3-$5)  figuring something good will happen soon.

It usually does.

I gave out almost my last reserves the other day. I was about to contact my parents for a small advance that would have taken days – then I got wind I may have some freelance on Monday; then I got wind my parents are in town today and wanna take me to lunch. It is possible they will lay a twenty on me to help assuage things till Monday knowing I dislike too much help (I have more to say on this later).

In the same spirit, one of my friends at the St. Mary’s shelter, Stuart came by when I was on the computer and laid some Pomegranate soaked pistachios on me. Said I’d love them.

I did.

*******

I killed it on the interview with Jawbone yesterday. If it was the World Series I went 4 for 5 with two homers – sheer muscle. I took educated chances just like I would with their products (which I had studied in great detail). I knew what they needed to do – it was all about the narratives – or lack thereof – for two of their three main products. Even their “UP” system had a thin one (nice, but thin).

When it was my turn to ask them questions about their company I went deep and found out significant details. It could actually work, though I would be single-handedly replacing an entire ad agency in-house. Still, I reasoned it was just ME against whole staffs of Lollapalooza and NPR when it came to Webby time in 2006 and Maverickssurf.com. I know content and I know audience.

I’m the idea/Vision guy – and I never lack that.

Margaret, the women interviewing me, was clearly excited by the end of the interview. Her one concern (the one at bat I did not get a hit) was I had no “metrics” from any of my previous jobs. She was going to have to run this by the Senior VP to get me to the next level. She did not seem worried.

She shoud have been. He axed me.

Was I discouraged? No.

On Wednesday I had sent my resume and 30 minutes later I had gotten an email back requesting a swift telephone interview two days later from a huge company with International business. I had gotten that interview and clearly and cleanly scorched it for 45 minutes.

I had not won the World Series – but I had played in one right out of the gate.

I would be back. I’m a contender – no doubt about it.

*******

But is that God’s will for me? Is it my calling? What of my inner calling to the Homeless that I speak of so often?

And what is up with me lately and dating sites?

Oh you don’t know about that?

Of that’s because I am writing so much LESS. And why would that be? Ohhh..maybe because of said dating sites?

Ya think?

It was causing some inner turmoil inside. ..but not for reasons you might think. It has more to do with calling and attention.

I am not whining when I say I am meant to run and run fast… I am a race car meant for high speed. I get bored easy. If I have nothing to do (and I cannot just job search all day long …you try it) I will go nuts.

Is it possible that I am lonely. Sure..though if that is true I rarely feel it. And if it was true, then when I go on these dates (and I have had many) I would certainly avail myself of the quite frequent offer of intimacy or at least a little affection. But the fact is I have only had two dates where I had any real fun and there was no chemistry there that way (very classy, beautiful and intelligent women however.) I’m too smart to produce wreckage in other people’s lives (even if they see it as “harmless fun”) – and I sure as hell am not going to do so to myself.

Elizabeth+PerkinsI really liked the long date with the woman who looked like Elizabth Perkins (dead ringer). Smart, sophisticated and funny. But…nothin.

She said it well “You are possibly the most interesting man I have ever met – but I don’t think we are headed in the same direction.”

Astute.

Now some of you are saying “what business does he have dating when he is homeless?”

What business do you have being married given your issues? At least mine isn’t moral.

(Oh that was soooo cold…but so was yours if you think about it…remember, some of you actually follow a homeless man?)

The reality is that a certain number of women will not date a man without a job because they fear co-dependency.

There is good reason for this if the man is looking for this or will allow it.

I allowed this in the past (for sure) and it hurt others and it hurt me (every bit as much).

I don’t allow it anymore, and I set the boundaries on MY SIDE of the fence so the woman has no say whatsoever. I simply will not accept any help at all – ever.

So any fear is simple projection and has nothing to do with me.

And it will be over very soon anyway.  Which makes me sad, because I liked the idea of someone liking me for me – and not my success. Oh well. .

*******

I have stopped the online dating. It was taking to much time and women live too much in fear. I have found one really smart courageous, funny, tall drink of water who is really pretty awesome – in Illinois. So that is years off. So for now I am retired.

*******

“Did you enjoy eating my nuts?” Stuart said slyly this morning.

“I enjoyed…er…the pomegranate dusted pistachio snacks you shared with me yesterday – why yes -thank you Stuart,” I said amidst giggls from older men from behind.

I am in a Senior Center but it might as well be a Junior High.

I had talked with Don last night, one of the staff members who runs the place. The first time Don and I met we got into a row over a rule he mistakenly though I had broken. I didn’t back down. It escalated – causing me to employ ALL of my best disciplines at full capacity. It ended with my “blessing him” and peacefully walking away at the right time.

When I came back that night he was right there and said “You still love me?”

“Of course,” I said. “never stopped,” I grinned and hugged him.

It was at that moment that Don knew I was his man to be “House Manager” for his dream house for homeless folk in Oakland. “You have steel man,” he told me last night as he unfolded his plans. “I wanna get this going in two weeks. You will stay for free as you run the thing. You can take the garage and we’ll insulate it if you want to give you room for your painting.”

I am also doing three websites for hire for him.

So I went from possibly making $180k to running a Homeless House in Oakland and doing my painting and websites in the span of about ten minutes.

I was actually kinda happy with the new news.

Now, I cannot explain that and I don’t have to. I am also kinda happy about not dating anymore, and no I cannot explain that either.

God is weird.

So I packed up this morning so Fred of New York and I could walk down to Starbucks and talk about the new House (he will be there too). But before we did Stuart had to pipe up one more time.

“Hey Mac!” he said loudly, “…it takes a Big Man to admit that he enjoys another man’s nuts.”

And with that everyone else went off into their morning just a little happier and laughing.

Waiting for GA

Food Bank on Fridays on West MacArthur near freeway.

Food Bank on Fridays on West MacArthur near freeway.

(Monday)

General Assistance takes a week of running around and diving through hoops to apply for; then another two weeks to get ; then it’s three months assistance (at $336.00 a month that you have to document you really earned by trying to find work. Then you have to pay it all back.)

So why do it? Operating capital – bus fares, additional food, shaving kits and toiletries, a sweater when it is cold, an umbrella or a dress shirt for an interview – BART tickets or Good Lord, maybe to splurge and take your daughter to the movies on a weekend.

One of my two guardian angels, Fred, tells me NetZero has a device for under $200 and a low monthly to deliver wifi anywhere anytime. That will leave me $135 for the month for all other expenses (which ends up really being food and coffee for the most part as I need to control breakfasts and lunches or balloon up on really unhealthy bad food full of sugar and other crap). That’s enough with foodstamps and is I start making some bank freelance.

Only once have I really needed GA before – in San Rafael (the last time I got it actually, years ago – to buy a small ASUS laptop – a little 10 inch unit that served me faithful and fast for years. It was the whole check but it covered it. It was very specific assistance and critical.

*******

(Tuesday)

There are people who have it ten times worse than I do – maybe a hundred. This is so often the case. Bernie (I will often change names) is very sick right now. He has walking pneumonia. He sits in Starbucks in a daze – not complaining – just looking like he wants to keel over. The dangerous thing about homelessness in the Fall and Winter is getting an upper respiratory infection. It is way too easy. I tale col meds constantly just to keep my chest clear. I have the sniffles a lot. If you get really sick, but not sick enough to be hospitalized – you are in for some real agony.

I talked with another guy – Stephen – who had just been kicked out of City Team. It was not for using but for some personality class with a staffer. This does not surprise me as half the guys over there seemed highly combative and prideful – the other have the opposite. I really liked Mark – he was a real pro. The guy behind him? A total Pharisee. – just looking to kick people out on an infraction. For drugs or alcohol? No for food.

Smart. Like the priest who had a problem with harvesting the heads of grain on the Sabbath – this guy is way too concerned that the Sabbath be served by Man and not that it serve man.

*******

(Thursday)

I was running seriously out of dough and afraid I was gonna have to ask the folks for more assistance – which at 57 does not sit pretty with me (nor has it ever to be honest). They have been most gracious and helped me get here and I have been frugal/careful. But you need things like “chines” – I mean some things just cannot wait y’know?

And I wanted to take the Jedi out to the movies today or to lunch – that’s a huge expense in my situation ($20) – but more hugely important.

Well the Department of Social Services came through after all my hard work (and I was slavish in my relentless pursuit to get them everything and follow up. It could have been weeks but $261.00 of my GA (pro-rated) came through yesterday which solved my other real problem: wifi time.

When I transferred from City Team over to St. Mary’s it was a huge improvement in every category but one: worktime. There I took at 35-plus hour a week hit. At City Team I was at my desk at Starbucks at 5:30 (from St. Marys? 8 a.m.). At City Team I could check in at 6:30 p.m.; at St. Mary’s I have to leave downtown at 3:30 p.m. to get back by the 4 p.m. class (mandatory). That is 5.5 hours a day,or around 35 hours a week in productive work hours.

Given my near military precision in Santa Cruz (that got me out of homelessness in 43 days) 35 hours is like putting on lead boots. It F’s everything up.I cannot get a regiment like I had in SC going when my day abruptly stops at 3:30 in the damned afternoon every day. [Like right now it is 2:40..I have to think about packing up. No worries..I can work from 5-9 tonight if I have the energy.]

So yesterday I purchased a Virgin Mingle Hotspot for $50 (not $200) and 1.5 GB of download time($25). I will prolly need more. But that means when I am at St. Mary’s I can get online. Huge hole filled. So now I have a locker, , food covered (pretty much) etc…everything but sleeping on a cot that is leave me a quadriplegic eventually (zero padding and it is not wide enough for a mutant). I am not complaining. Of ALL the situations I have been in the last 6 years this is the best i many ways – rivaled only by Mill Street in San Rafael.

I just cannot believe I am back here again. I gotta get outta here soon.

I heard back from BON.tv on my last story for them. Still not good enough. They are very unclear on what they want – just clear o what they do not want. So they have given me a new assignment. Okay. Worth a go. This one I am gonna really totally re-write – just take the original material as source only and do a completely new thing and make it sing. If that doesn’t do it then I really have no idea what they really want. Not a mind reader.

On Saturday I, mercifully, interview a long-time homeless guy here in Oakland for a newstory to be submitted to the main free newspapers in San Francisco (my buddy Fred has connections). It will appear here so we can STOP these stories being about ME.

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